While you are thinking about booting your computer, both the terms CSM and UEFI are widespread. But there are huge differences between these two. So to say, they are entirely the opposite roads to take while booting.
So, in the case of CSM vs UEFI, CSM is an interface mode in the BIOS boot option that you can find in earlier Windows. On the other hand, UEFI is a modern solution used in all the updated PCs. It’s more like a modern BIOS version, ensuring more security and convenience.
We have to dive deeper to let you know more about these two. So before you get confused, let’s have it all together!
CSM Vs UEFI – All The Distinctions And Details
Before we get into it, we need to know what these terms mean individually. So, now we will share an idea about that.
What Is CSM?
The complete form of CSM is the Compatibility Support Module. In your PC’s boot mode, you will see the CSM if you have an older motherboard. While your PC is on the upgraded UEFI system, you can switch to the legacy BIOS using CSM.
So basically, the CSM creates an environment in your PC that lets you boot the PC despite being on the UEFI firmware.
What is UEFI?
UEFI is the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface. Instead of BIOS, modern computers are using this interface. UEFI offers fast booting alongside user convenience. If you know the difference between BIOS Vs UEFI, you can understand it better.
A core relationship between CSM and UEFI helps you to still legacy boot the PC while you have UEFI firmware installed. The CSM support lets the PC get into legacy mode to boot the PC still.
CSM Vs UEFI – The Core Differences
|Firmware Speed||32-bit speed||64-bit speed|
|Disk Partition Type||MBR||GPT|
|TPM Compatibility||Not supported||Supports TPM|
|Disk Bootable Support||up to 2 TB||up to 9 ZB|
|Work Mode||Character User Interface system||Graphical User Interface system|
|Security||Less secured||More secured|
|Booting Process||Simple||More detailed and secured|
|Programming Language||Complex and requires more programming||C language, requires less programming to function|
We will look further into the differences between these two offers to know all about them. Let’s dive in!
Disk Partition Type:
One of the main differences that you will find between CSM and UEFI is the disk partition type. UEFI mode has the GPT disk partition, whereas CSM uses MBR.
Using the MBR, the CSM support allows the creation of a legacy environment in your computer; therefore, the UEFI boot can happen. Besides, as the UEFI can run up to 8 ZB size disks., you get a massive advancement in system loading without a hassle.
TPM is incompatible with legacy and CSM modes, but UEFI supports it. With the TPM, the UEFI increases the secured boot of the system that CSM or your legacy BIOS setup fails to offer.
Disk Bootable Support
CSM offers up to 2 TB bootable support, far less than the UEFI, which offers up to 9 ZB disk management support. With the extra support, the booting is much faster and user convenient with UEFI boot mode.
The CSM works in the Character User Interface system, whereas UEFI works in the Graphical User Interface system. In this case, due to the system usage, the UEFI is much easier to use and operate, adding to the user convenience.
CSM is based on the conventional BIOS mode, it lacks certain of the updated UEFI mode’s security measures.
Nonetheless, UEFI provides all of the contemporary security capabilities, including disk encryption and secure boot options.
You might or might not wish to use secure boot, depending on your requirements. To combat rootkits and ransomware, adding an additional security check at the firmware level can be helpful.
Only when the operating system tries to install the incorrect driver or remove the firmware configuration does UEFI BIOS have problems and defects.
Again, UEFI blows our minds here. Despite being utterly secure with the booting, it offers a fast boot. On the other hand, the typical CSM legacy BIOS mode won’t give you a fast booting experience.
Hardware and OS Compatibility
When it comes to hardware and operating system compatibility, there are some key differences between CSM (Compatibility Support Module) and UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). Here are some of the main differences:
CSM is designed to be compatible with legacy hardware, while UEFI is a newer technology that is designed to support modern hardware. As a result, CSM is more likely to be compatible with older hardware components, while UEFI is better suited for newer components.
Operating System Compatibility
CSM was designed to be compatible with older operating systems, such as Windows 7, while UEFI is required to support newer operating systems, such as Windows 8 and Windows 10. Some older operating systems may not be able to boot on UEFI systems without compatibility mode enabled.
UEFI includes more advanced driver support, which can improve system performance and stability. CSM, on the other hand, relies on legacy drivers, which may not be as stable or efficient.
UEFI includes more advanced boot options, such as network boot and boot from a GPT (GUID Partition Table) formatted disk, which can be useful in certain situations. CSM, on the other hand, only supports MBR (Master Boot Record) formatted disks and has fewer boot options.
UEFI includes advanced security features, such as Secure Boot, which can help protect the system from malware and other security threats. CSM does not have these security features, making it more vulnerable to security threats.
Which Has The Better User Interface?
Those are two types of firmware interfaces that are used to boot and configure computers. While they have many similarities, one key difference between the two is the user interface.
CSM has a text-based user interface that is less user-friendly and less intuitive compared to UEFI. The user interface is similar to the traditional BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) interface that has been around for decades. The interface is generally controlled using a keyboard and involves navigating menus with arrow keys and using specific keys to select different options.
UEFI, on the other hand, has a graphical user interface (GUI) that is more user-friendly and easier to navigate. The interface is more intuitive and resembles the interface of modern operating systems. Users can interact with the firmware using a mouse, keyboard, or even touch input.
Additionally, UEFI provides a more flexible interface that can be customized by manufacturers and developers. This allows manufacturers to add their own branding and features to the firmware, creating a more personalized experience for users.
In summary, UEFI has a better user interface compared to CSM. The graphical interface of UEFI is more user-friendly, intuitive, and provides visual cues that help users to navigate through the different options and settings.
Speed and Power Management
With to “Fast Boot” capability, UEFI boot mode can be almost twice as quick as Legacy CSM boot mode. It reduces the amount of hardware needed to start the boot process.
Moreover, UEFI boots from power-saving modes including sleep, reboot, and hibernation almost instantly. A CSM boot system is slowed considerably by the power-on self-test (POST) procedure, which is circumvented by its features.
These speed variations don’t just affect boot times; they also affect how well the System performs in general.
How to Enable or Disable CSM in UEFI BIOS Mode?
For many motherboard brands, there are different precise instructions for activating CSM mode. Typically, you may access the setting while the BIOS is booting up.
The “Launch CSM” or “CSM Support” option will typically be located under the “Boot” menu. All you have to do is save your changes and leave the UEFI booting screen after enabling or disabling the CSM boot system.
If activated, your computer will restart itself in the desired legacy mode. If the setting is not visible, your motherboard probably does not support CSM.
After looking into every aspect and functionality, we must say UEFI is the beast compared to the CSM unless you own a computer that’s too old or from your grandparents’ generation. All the modern PCs are thinking ahead of legacy BIOS compatibility using UEFI firmware for the best outcome. So, UEFI gets the crown, always!
If you are still confused, here are a few of UEFI’s best functionalities:
- Faster boot time that saves your time
- More secure boot to keep your PC safe from malicious operations
- Also, it supports more than 2 TB OS system boot partitions which is a great advantage
- Moreover, compatible with more than four partitions
- More reliable than legacy BIOS boot mode
- The firmware comes with more upgrades
- Lastly, you get to have more advanced options from it
Things To Know Before Using UEFI Instead Of The BIOS:
All Windows operating systems from Windows 8 have the unified extensible firmware interface instead of BIOS. So, in this case, you cannot go back to your BIOS setup even if you want to. But here are a few things to know before you start using UEFI:
1. You Can Have All The Advancements Of Modern Tech
As BIOS has been outdated, UEFI is an alternative to that. You can say it’s more like a modern replacement with more suitable options and a faster booting approach.
2. You Can Emulate The BIOS Setting
Many virtual platforms are emulating the firmware and using the UEFI-dependent operating systems. So, you can use your Windows operating system X even on a virtual machine through emulation.
3. You Can Still Boot Using A Removable Media
You can go to the Boot Device option and choose any favorable device like a USB drive if you want to boot using removable media. This offers you the ability to use different mediums in the booting process.
4. You Won’t Need Any Boot Loader
Any boot loader like an EFI boot loader is no longer required to boot the system as long as you are using UEFI. The OS can do the task of a loader all by itself while you are using UEFI.
5. Accessing Your Hardware Information
Sometimes the UEFI settings screen may not let you view the data about the hardware. It’s not a big deal because you can still view that using any system information options in Windows.
How To Access UEFI Settings On Modern PCs?
You can access the UEFI using two different ways. While accessing the low-level settings, you must access the UEFI using your Windows boot options menu. But you can also access the UEFI by pressing a key just like you access BIOS during the boot.
Should I Disable CSM?
You won’t have to disable the CSM on your own for new and upgraded PCs as they come with default disabled CSM. However, if you have an older model, you need to disable the CS before you boot the PC.
Which Is Better, UEFI Or BIOS?
UEFI is an alternative to BIOS that you can find on all modern PCs. With all the advancements and faster booting process, UEFI is undoubtedly better than BIOS.
Is Windows 10 UEFI Or Legacy?
If you want to know whether your Windows 10 is UEFI or BIOS, you have to follow the following steps:
- While the PC is on boot, open a command prompt
- Check under the Windows Boot Loader section
- If the path is \windows\system32\winload.exe then it’s on legacy BIOS
- But if it is on \windows\system32\winload.efi then your PC is on UEFI
Is It Possible To Change From CSM To UEFI?
If your PC system has an option for UEFI mode, you can change it from CSM to UEFI. But there needs to be a GPT disk partition to enable UEFI.
Does Windows 7 Support UEFI?
Yes, it does. But you need to browse to the boot file to access the UEFI in your Windows.
We have reached the end of our discussion about CSM vs UEFI. Both are quite different in functionality and system, as you know in brief now. CSM is for old PCs which are outdated now. Modern PCs use the UEFI boot system to let you have all the updates.
So as you know how to use the UEFI for your betterment, we hope you understand it’s not entirely different from BIOS. It’s a far better and more modern alternative system for BIOS that brings more advancements than before.